25 November 2015

Pile driving

A giant piling rig has been in action on Blackhorse Lane this week, putting in the foundations for the first phase of construction on the Mandora redevelopment site. It works like a giant corkscrew, drilling holes that are filled up with reinforced concrete to make a solid base for the new buildings. I'm not hoping for anything other than inoffensive blandnesss, from what I've seen in the way of annoyingly vague visuals illustrating the finished complex, each computer-generated version blander than the one that preceded it. This first phase will be a huge student housing block with 527 beds, most of them in 'clusters' - something like a shared flat, at a guess. There will be a sensible four storeys on the main road with shops on the ground floor, but further back inside the site the highest will be seven storeys. Steel frames are likely to start going up after Christmas, but practical completion isn't scheduled until August 2017, which probably means even longer in practice, a whole two years of construction.

Enjoy the big sky effect while it lasts - since the Mandora office building was demolished we've been able to appreciate some spectacular sunsets, the sort of unobstructed view you don't usually get in London.